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Which Way Does It Roll?

This topic is extremely minor compared to almost everything else I’ve read (obsessively) on E-Hell, but I figured it’s worth raising anyway. A recent Facebook post that was making the rounds had a picture of two toilet paper rolls. Roll A had the toilet paper feeding from underneath/behind the roll, and Roll B had the toilet paper feeding from over/in front of the roll. The caption asked people to comment which is correct. What struck me was how many people wrote something along the lines of “Roll B—and if I’m in someone’s house and they have it like Roll A, I’ll change it.” A few questions: Is it rude to flip other people’s t.p. rolls? Have you ever done it (confession time!)? Have you ever made other changes in someone else’s home without their solicitation or permission? And (why not?) Roll A or Roll B? 0122-14

“My house, my rules” so changing the way the toilet paper roll hangs to suit your own preferences while in someone else’s home is rather presumptuous and petty.   Good heavens, are there people in this world so arrogantly afflicted with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder that a few seconds of having to deal with a toilet paper roll hung in a manner they don’t agree with is enough to waste time changing it?


{ 115 comments… add one }
  • mark February 19, 2014, 4:14 pm

    I was thinking about this more, and to be honest with you, I wouldn’t even notice if someone switched it on me. I don’t even pay attention to what way I put the roll in myself so if someone switched it, I wouldn’t even know.

    • gb February 19, 2014, 7:53 pm

      I don’t pay attention either. I’m just happy I still had enough tp.

  • Fountainof February 19, 2014, 4:23 pm

    I wouldn’t change anyone else’s TP but under does bug me but I am a grown up and I just get over it. I do have pets and they don’t grab the TP but if they did I would just keep the door closed as I would never be able to convert to under, I just couldn’t do it. If a guest put my TP under I would just change it back, if it kept happening I would probably tell them they are putting the TP wrong. However, I rarely have overnight guests so it would be someone like my mom who I would have no problem telling that she is messing with my TP.

    At work, we took a vote a few years ago and over won out.

  • JazzyGeri February 19, 2014, 6:41 pm

    Many years ago there was a craze of crocheting covers for rolls of toilet paper. My mom bought one at a church bazaar and placed her roll on the back of the toilet for show. The crochet work was white with pink and green flowers very ornate. Well, one night my dad was in the bathroom longer than he usually stays. My mom was concerned about him. So she knocked on the door. Low and behold he ran out of toilet paper and was sitting there undoing all that beautiful crochet work. LOL Selecting the A or B side was out of the question that night. LOL

  • Kate February 19, 2014, 6:44 pm

    B method at my house, and I flip it at my dad’s (I and my daughters use the non-ensuite loo there far more than anyone else) if someone puts it on using the A method. Dad doesn’t care, and besides, my mother would do the same so he’s used to it.

    Anyone else’s home, I vote as rude to change unless you have good reason to believe they prefer it the way you’re flipping it to.

  • SML February 19, 2014, 7:14 pm

    My mother used to reorganize my entire home early in the mornings before anyone else was awake when she would visit me. It drove me and my roommates crazy especially seeing as how we had a very clean house. Helping out with things is one thing but completely over running someone’s home isn’t appropriate.

  • ValB February 19, 2014, 7:35 pm

    Firmly in the “over”camp, as years of housekeeping standards forced us to do it this way so a neat little triangle could be folded in front.
    At someone else’s house, if I was the one changing the roll, I would continue to put it over, but the only reason is that about 1 second after I took off the old roll I would have forgotten which direction it was in. Never ever ever would I change a roll that is half full though, that is just strange! And I’m a little surprised that the commenter in OP’s story would brag about doing that. These comments are different though, as they are more like anonymous confessions 🙂

  • gb February 19, 2014, 7:38 pm

    I don’t care how the roll hangs, BUT YOU BEST REPLACE IT 🙂
    People can decorate/arrange however they please, and it is no one else’s right to change it. If your also live there, I can see discussing how things are arranged abs come to a compromise. It is very rude to assume your placement of something is correct and impose it on others when it is not your home.

    However, I don’t personally believe anyone actually flipped someone else’s tp roll… They just wanted to get a laugh on Facebook.

    I’d never notice if someone did this to mine. If they have a problem with how it is, then they have more problems in their life than toilet paper.

  • gb February 19, 2014, 7:41 pm

    GREEN123, lolol!

  • Kat February 19, 2014, 9:11 pm

    I’m an “over” person and of course find the idea of switching someone else’s roll orientation to be petty and controlling. That said, while the behavior itself may be lowercase-c compulsive, well-intentioned reminder that Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder are not jokes or insults but mental health disorders that can only be diagnosed by mental health professionals.

    • admin February 20, 2014, 3:21 pm

      And I know far too any people who claim OCD who have never stepped foot in any office of a mental health professional.

      • Kat February 20, 2014, 5:40 pm

        Yes, those people shouldn’t misuse use the term either. If no one used the term OCD except when they literally, precisely meant OCD (or OCPD), its misuse wouldn’t perpetuate incorrect stereotypes about what the disorder is.

      • MichelleP February 21, 2014, 1:01 am

        Thanks for this. As a nurse, I have dealt with people who truly have OCD. I know too many people who say, “Oh, I have OCD!” Or say their husband has it. No, they don’t. My other pet peeve: saying “I am OCD!” No, OCD is a disorder, not a state of being.

        Totally with admin on the comments about OCD. It has become a fallback excuse for rudeness.

        As far as rearranging anything in anyone’s home, it is rude. My sister and my mother love to rearrange my home, resulting in damages to it more than once. I finally grew a polite spine, partly thanks to this site, and put a stop to it.

        • admin February 23, 2014, 6:56 am

          I’m more in the camp of Dr. Thomas Szasz who argued that mental illness is a social construct created by psychiatrists, and that the term “mental illness” can only be a metaphor — NOT a legitimate parallel to how physical illness happen, with real biological causes. OCD is a not an “illness” with a medical cause but is rather a “disordered” way of thinking that can be reordered with counseling help. It is not an incurable physical “illness” which then justifies rude behavior. Anyone claiming they suffer from OCD to the extent they must re-arrange other items in other people’s houses has either never received an official diagnosis from a trained expert or is not actively in counseling and therefore OCD has become a convenient excuse to exercise selfishness by re-ordering other people’s things to be in line with one’s personal preferences.

  • Josie February 19, 2014, 9:36 pm

    The only way it’s “wrong” in my home is if it’s not there – I don’t care how anybody puts it, as long as I have some when I need it!! 🙂

  • GreenEyedHawk February 19, 2014, 10:13 pm

    Good heavens! My tp holder actually holds the roll vertically so your options are left or right rather than over or under. Honestly though even if it was horizontal, if the way it was hanging bothered a guest to the point where they felt the need to change it well…I care about this so little that I doubt I’d ever notice.

  • Maggie February 19, 2014, 11:55 pm

    Roll-B, obviously. If it’s not like that at in others’ homes I don’t change it but don’t use the paper that has been left hanging against the holder/wall as I don’t know how clean that is.

  • Allie February 20, 2014, 12:51 am

    Roll B is absolutely correct. Roll A is just plain wrong. My husband always does A and I always change it, although at least it’s there to be changed. I don’t change it at someone else’s house unless it’s someone I’m close to and I do it to tease them. Then I will wait to see if they notice and if not I’ll tell them. But that’s all just in jest. I don’t seriously think it matters… but A is WRONG, just to be clear ; )

  • Kate February 20, 2014, 4:42 am

    Clearly Roll B!
    I actually do have OCD – medically diagnosed, not “LOL I’m so OCD!!” – and as I said above, it is sometimes a huge internal struggle not to adjust things in other people’s houses. However, I manage not to do it, because I know how I’d feel if someone changed something in my house – I’d have a panic attack and/or yell at them for about half an hour.
    Sometimes I have changed the toilet roll over at my parents’ place, because they raised me, they’re well aware I have OCD and they know I need to do things sometimes for an area to feel ‘safe’.

    • admin February 20, 2014, 3:15 pm

      Precisely! What if a person changed the TP roll in someone’s home to suit their own OCD preferences and did not now that someone living in that home has an OCD preference of their own as to how the roll hangs? You can have OCD all you want in your own home but to change anything about another persons home is uncalled for.

      • Alex February 20, 2014, 5:32 pm

        Believe me admin nobody who has OCD wants OCD.

  • Margaret February 20, 2014, 6:20 am

    Instead of a toilet paper holder with that spring loaded bar, we use a kind of open hook (I think it might actually be a hand towel holder) — sort of like this:
    ___ < — wall mount part here
    \______ <– TP on this bar

    So who cares which way it gets put on? Literally takes a second to change it around.

  • A February 20, 2014, 7:34 am

    Me and my friends generally find this subject pretty funny and have had some not-so-serious debates on which way is “correct”. Therefore, if I’ve found that one of them has switched my tp roll’s direction it’s funny…it’s also switched back to the correct direction. 😉

    There are just better things to get up in arms over.

  • Rebecca February 20, 2014, 9:09 am

    A friend came over for an impromptu visit once. I made a nice, small dinner, and she offered to take the dishes to the kitchen. I said I would wash them after she left. I had a couple of dirty plates in the kitchen already, left over from an earlier lunch. We had them stacked in the sink, as we didn’t have a lot of counter space.

    My friend placed the new plates on the counter, grabbed the older plates out of the sink to stack on top, and exclaimed “I HATE it when people stack their dishes in the sink. Things get all soggy!” She did not need to rinse these dishes, so there was no reason for her to use the sink. Basically she just wanted things her way, even though she would never have to deal with the outcome whatsoever.

    Her visit was at an end anyway, so she thanked me for the meal, I thanked her for coming, and she left.

    • La February 20, 2014, 10:16 pm

      Soggy… plates?

      • FeatherBlade February 24, 2014, 1:19 pm

        Soggy food-left-on-plates, probably.

        For those heathens who don’t scrape their plates into the trash before putting them in the washbasin. ;D

  • Mary February 20, 2014, 9:56 am

    My Mom and I have a long running “feud” where she likes the roll over hand and I like it under hand. So..I change it at her house and she changes it at mine. 🙂 It’s a joke though. We both enjoy it and it hurts no one. That being said I would never, ever, change someone else’s roll to suite myself.

  • Glitter February 20, 2014, 12:53 pm

    I prefer to have my toilet paper folded into origami swans and presented to me on a silver platter.

    I had a friend of mom’s come over one day and decided to re-organize my utensil drawer. Why? Well because they way I had it was “wrong” so she was fixing to make it “easier”. Except it was “easier” for her, not for me. And I spent an entire day grabbing the wrong utensil (when you need a fork, a spoon will not help) before I just fixed it back to the way I had it. She still offers to “fix” it for me because clearly I have it set up “wrong”, I just tell her I like to live in chaos like that.

    Also, I do underhand. Because it looks neater to me. But usually I’m just happy it’s there.

  • Enna February 20, 2014, 1:06 pm

    Does it really matter which way the roll is put on the holder? Changing it at someone ele’s house is slightly creepy and odd, not to mention rude – my house my rules.

  • splatman February 20, 2014, 5:10 pm

    B. B. B. B.
    The only time I’ve flipped the roll, was at my grandparents’ house back in ’95. (My Grandma was totally A) Thanks to EHell, I’ll know not to do that anymore. If I must flip it it, I’ll just remember to unflip it when I’m done.
    Here’s an idea for those who have roll-flipping family members or guests: Install a second TP dispenser. A on one dispenser, B on the other. Then the A vs. B tissue issues should end.
    Or, do this:
    and hang some rolls A, and some B.

    • admin February 23, 2014, 7:00 am


  • The Elf February 21, 2014, 10:34 am

    A friend of mine changes the roll to “his” way. I change it back. He’s a frequent overnight guest, so there’s often a few back-and-forths over the time he’s here. Neither of us have acknowledged it, and I think it has become a sort of game. I hope he takes it as humorsly as I do.

  • Backup February 21, 2014, 11:47 pm

    And my dad wonders why my brother and I (we’re roomies) don’t even bother and put it on the sink.

  • Neptune February 22, 2014, 5:52 am

    What about paper towels?

  • just4kicks February 22, 2014, 3:35 pm

    Having one husband and four children who never replace an empty roll, I don’t care which way it goes as long as they put a fresh roll on after they’ve used the last of it!
    One battle at a time!!! 🙂

  • JackieJormpJomp February 23, 2014, 2:47 am

    Admin: You don’t have to defend your use of “OCD” the way YOU meant it so much– I don’t think commenters were saying OCD-having individuals should get a pass. They are just asking that people not use “OCD” when they mean “finicky” or even “controlling.” Just requesting people don’t misuse DSM terms, is all. Properly using these terms is just a forward step to properly understanding mental illness, without stigma. I think it’s more worry about usage, in general, not YOUR usage, necessarily.

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